Richard Davenport has been a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette since 2007. He also hosts Recruiting Thursday each Thursday from 7 to 8 p.m. statewide.
Two Badger commitments might look at Hogs if staff changes
New Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema takes off his hat after being introduced during an NCAA college football news conference in Fayetteville, Ark., Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012. Bielema, who will be paid $3.2 million annually for six years, replaces interim coach John L. Smith, who was hired after Bobby Petrino was fired in April
Two Wisconsin commitments were surprised and sadden to hear Bret Bielema leaving the Badger program to take over as the head coach at Arkansas but appear solid with Wisconsin.
Linebacker Garret Dooley, 6-2, 220, 4.6 seconds in the 40 yard dash, of Rochester, Illinois pledged to the Badgers earlier in the year. He said Bielema was a big reason why he chose Wisconsin but will stay with his commitment unless there's changes in the staff.
"It depends on if he bring anything other staff members with him," said Dooley, who's rated a 3-star plus recruit by Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network. "I'm not sure that's going to happen At this point and time my heart is still set with Wisconsin but if anything else changes, it could definitely could changes things but it depends on what happens but as of right now I'm still set on Wisconsin but we'll just have to see how things play out."
Dooley had an impressive senior season with 131 tackles, 15 sacks, 17 quarterback hurries, 1 interception, 3 forced fumbles, 1 recovered fumble, 1 pass deflections and 2 blocked punts. He also rushed 203 times for 1,456 yards, 32 touchdowns while having 34 receptions for 474 yards and 5 touchdowns. He had a long run of 98 yards and a long reception of 43 yards.
Florida cornerback Sojourn Shelton echoed Dooley's sentiments and plans to remain with Wisconsin but did leave the door open if some of the staff at Wisconsin should join Bielema in Fayetteville.
Shelton, 5-10, 160, 4.5 seconds in the 40 yard dash, is rated a 3-star plus recruit by Lemming.
"My concern was if the staff had left," Shelton said. "The head coach is someone that's very important to a player but also you spend so much time with your position coach and your strength and conditioning coach. I thought that was what was really important to me. As of now those guys are going to be there. If anything did change and they go to Arkansas then that would be a situation I would look at."